Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Book Review: The Hollow City by Dan Wells

Title: The Hollow City
Author: Dan Wells
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Source: Personal Copy
This book would be rated: PG-13 for violence

Dan Wells, of I am Not A Serial Killer Fame, gets into the mind of Michael, who wakes up in a hospital after a schizophrenic episode that left him with a two-week gap in his memory. Unfortunately, this gap coincides with a murder, and people think Michael may be tied to it in some way. It's a little hard to read a novel where the narrator is a schizophrenic, because it's difficult to know what is actually happening and what are his delusions, but that makes the first part of the book feel like an entertaining puzzle. Who is real? Who is in Michael's mind?

I can't talk about the plot too much without giving away spoilers, but I was fascinated by what I thought the premise of the book was-- exploring the mind of a murder suspect with schizophrenia, much like Alice La Plante did with an Alzheimer's patient in Turn of Mind. But this is a Dan Wells book, and I could tell early on that he wasn't concerned with verisimilitude-- with making the details of the story hold up in real life, so I was not surprised when it took a decidedly more supernatural turn. A little disappointed, yes, because I would have enjoyed the book I'd created in my mind more (one more along the lines of Memento than Invasion of the Body Snatchers), but it's still well-written and well-paced, just not my kind of tale.

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